Lasting Marriages: Men and Women Growing Together

Lasting Marriages: Men and Women Growing Together

Lasting Marriages: Men and Women Growing Together

Lasting Marriages: Men and Women Growing Together

Synopsis

Based on in-depth interviews by skilled clinicians with husbands and wives who have been married more than 20 years, Mackey and O'Brien explore how spouses adapt to each other from the early years of marriage, through the parenting years, and into the post-parenting or empty-nest years. Purposively selected for inclusion were spouses representing religious, ethnic, racial, and educational diversity. Given increased life expectancies, couples who stay together will remain together for longer periods of time. As longevity extends into the seventies, eighties, and beyond, it is critical to identify the significant dynamics which contribute to satisfaction among couples in stable marriages. This book responds to this need.

Excerpt

The expression, Growing Together, in the subtitle of this book was taken from an interview with a 57-year-old man who was trying to convey what his marriage of twenty-five years meant to him: "There is a growing together . . . like a tree around a boulder underneath the ground. The root eventually goes around it."

The metaphor of the roots of a tree growing around a boulder reflected the depth, diversity, and dynamism of experiences which 120 spouses from sixty marriages shared with us. This book tells their stories -- the stories of joy, suffering, conflict, doubt, and reconciliation -- as they lived out their lives together from the first time they met, through the rearing of their children and into the empty-nest years. They rarely moved boulders, yet they found ways of adapting to each other, which left them more rather than less satisfied with their long-lasting relationships.

Marriage has undergone many changes over the last few decades, not the least of which is that couples who stay together will remain together for longer periods of time in view of increased life expectancies. As longevity extends into the seventies, eighties, and beyond, it is critical to identify the significant dynamics that contribute to satisfaction among couples in stable . . .

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